October 15

2002 Subaru Legacy, Engine Replacement



Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. We're talking about a Subaru Legacy. Having some issues with Google+ this morning, Google Hangouts. It's always an adventure. How you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing pretty well. It is an adventure. Hopefully, the technology will work with us this time.

Mark: We've talked a lot about Subaru's in the past, this is a Legacy, but this time it's a engine replacement, which is a bit extreme. Is this pretty common with these motors?

Bernie: No, it's not. We do a lot of head gaskets, as we've talked about in the past. We probably do at least one or two a month, maybe even more. Head gaskets tend to leak on Subaru's, but engines themselves are very reliable. We very rarely ever replace an engine.

Mark: 2002 is getting a bit old for that level of repair. Is it worth it?

Bernie: It's really up to the owner of the vehicle. This person had just recently bought this vehicle, unfortunately, but it's in really nice shape. I'll share a photo of it. There's our 2002 Legacy. I mean, the car looks pretty much brand new, the mileage is pretty low on this vehicle, and it actually, with the exception of the issue with the engine, is actually running fine at the time. I'm going to cut the photo here, if I can remember how to do that. Am I back? Yes, I am.Is it worth it? It's really up to the individual owner. With every car, people often attach a value, "Oh, it's only worth this much, so I'm only going to spend half of the value on repair". People have these, in my opinion, crazy equations, but really, at the end of the day, when you own a car it's how much money you're sending out the door for the privilege or whatever it is, the cost of driving. To me, that's the only thing you really need to look at. If you buy a brand new car, you're not doing a lot of repairs, but you're spending 3, 500, 1,000 bucks a month on payments. You know, when you have an old car, you might spend 3-4,000 bucks one year changing an engine, and then you don't spend any more money. When you work that out into monthly payments, it's much lower. It's still money that's going out the door. Anyways, is it worth it? It's very much up to the owner, but this car was in good shape. We'd done an inspection previously on it, and stated that everything was actually in pretty good working order otherwise.

Mark: What was the presenting problem and what did you do to solve it?

Bernie: Basically, the vehicle came to us, he was driving down the highway and all of a sudden, it started developing a knocking noise in the engine, which is never good. Got to the shop, we started it up, you could heard something very severe in the bottom of the engine going knock, knock, knock, knock, knock. When we arranged for an engine replacement, and he authorized the job, we decided to drive the vehicle into the shop to get repairs done, and halfway through the parking lot the engine just seized up. Something broke inside and that was the end of his engine, so he got here just at the right time.

Mark: These are typically pretty reliable, why did it ... What was the cause of the problem?

Bernie: I would say the cause of the problem on this one was bad maintenance. As we mentioned many times before, bad maintenance, lack of oil changes, really contributes to a lot of problems. Really, most of the time, whenever we see an engine problem, it's due to bad maintenance. Now, the head gaskets on a Subaru, you can be meticulous with your oil changes, and they're still going to leak, because that's a bit of a design defect, but the engines in a Subaru, if you change the oil regularly, keep the oil level full, you really never ever have any problems with the bottom end of the engine. What had happened with this engine, is that it ... Unfortunately, I have lost my photos to share, but we'll put them up on the webpage. When you look at the picture of what was in the oil pan, there's a lot of metal debris, but it was also, you could see a layer of sludge. This accumulates, people go over on their oil changes too frequently, maybe they missed an oil change, eventually things build up, and it causes a problem. If I can fire one thing home here, change your oil, which we've talked about so many times. Change you oil when it's due, don't wait. It's cheap.

Mark: If you want a great oil change, where they actually look at all the rest of your vehicle and make sure that it's running properly, and let you know, give you a really good diagnosis about what is coming up, what needs to be changed, what might need to be changed in the future, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They're at least sixteen, maybe seventeen time winners of Best in Vancouver, as voted by their customers, best auto repair shop in Vancouver, and you can reach them at 604-327-7112, or check out their website PawlikAutomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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